Exercise– for Good Health

Toes need to work when surfing.  In fact my surfing instructor in Waikiki had such a strong big toe, he planted it on my long board and paddled me out to speed the process.  My right foot toes hurt afterward because of a bone-on-bone bunion condition.  Prolonged walking hurts, too, and last Wednesday I had a bunionectomy. While healing, I’m doing foot rotations that don’t include the toe joint, and with the foot elevated on a coffee table I’m doing sit-ups and stretches.

Normal foot function is vital to good health. I was one of those people who’d become accustomed to foot pain, but it eroded my enthusiasm to take long walks.  My salvation has been lap swimming.  I will be able to swim again in a couple of weeks.  Because my husband wants to go to Italy next summer, I decided to seek bunion removal with Dr. Edward Chin in my hometown of Irvine, CA.

Prior to this, Dr. Chin gave me a professional fit me with orthotic shoe inserts.  Each foot is unique and must be evaluated for specific criteria.  After trying this method and getting some relief, I opted to go all the way, ha ha, for surgical correction, and Dr. Chin evaluated the arthritic growth of tissue and the deforming forces that created it which was wearing high heels for thirty years!  Determining how to counterbalance and restore function to my foot, Dr. Chin’s surgical procedures are complex.  In my case two incisions were made, one to shave off the abnormal bony growth, and the second to place pins in the joint having absolutely no cartilage.  Yesterday daughter Janice took me to see Dr. Chin, and when unwrapping and applying new dressings, I saw that the ugly bunion was gone.  Yes, all gone. I’m keeping my foot elevated on the desk while working at the computer.

Normal Range of Motion for the Great Toe
Photo is courtesy of  Janie Airey/Getty Images

11 thoughts on “Exercise– for Good Health

  1. Janessa, I watched several also. It’s good to know what’s involved which turns out to be complex. I was so happy when I saw my foot yesterday at Dr. Chin’s office. I used to look at my ugly bunion– while taking a bath, I’d put my feet up against the tile and compare them. The bunion on my left foot is minor at this point, but I’ll have the surgery in a couple of years– before I lose all the cartilage in my toe joints.

  2. Melinda Meyer

    Kathleen, I admire how you are staying positive, as evidenced by the “pretty feet” photo. So many blogs about bunions have the ugly feet photos.

  3. Hi Melinda. I thought about taking the bunion photo route. In truth photos on youtube of the ugliest bunions ever boosted my spirits two days after surgery when my pain level was about a three (out of ten). I took pain medication, iced my foot, and felt grateful the surgery was behind me. Mine could get to the deformity stage just like anyone’s!

  4. Reba Studebaker

    Sounds like you’re doing okay, Kathleen. The fact that high heels contribute to bunions is getting me thinking about all the cute flats available.

  5. I’m going to order ballet style flats today– they are very cute. Thx for the encouraging words, Ruddy and Mary Alice. Reba– you’re a legs model and also model shoes. Heck yeah, beware of high heels!

  6. Janessa, this surgery has become routine. Two years ago my sister Beth had a bunionectomy, and her recovery was very confining. She couldn’t put any weight at all on her foot. I can walk on my heel but try to minimize this of course because the foot needs to be elevated. Dr. Chin says swelling is a bunionectomy patient’s worst enemy.

  7. Here I am, a week post-op, and I’m off the hard-core med, Vicodin, but it really helped to have them early on. Last night I took 2 tablets of Tylenol, at 9 PM and again at 2 AM. Keeping my foot elevated on three pillows, I woke up feeling alive and well. Vicodin gave me a hangover! It’s natural to feel more achy as the day goes on.

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